The Yorkshire captain says that he is at a loss to understand why the top order keeps performing so poorly.
“I’m not 100 per sure, to be honest,” said Patterson, after another first innings flop in the heavy defeat against Lancashire.
“There comes a stage where you’ve got to, I suppose, ask the question: is it lack of confidence, is it lack of ability, is it the pitches we’re playing on? I don’t know the answer. But if we want to be at the high end of the table, to get into the top group and to compete to win the Championship, we have to be better.”
Yorkshire have been bowled out for less than 200 (the minimum figure needed to achieve the first of five batting points on offer in each game) three times in seven matches this year – including at Old Trafford, where they scored 159 in their first innings.
They have only twice passed 230 in their first innings this season and have the fewest number of batting points (nine) of any side in the country.
“I think four out of the seven games we’ve played this year in the first innings we’ve been bowled out in two sessions,” said Patterson. “You don’t win a lot of games doing that.
“I’d love to know the answer. I can’t give you that. But we’ve got to be better, otherwise there’s no way we’re going to be where we want to be.”
Patterson went on: “The lads are trying everything. Their work ethic is top drawer. They train very hard. They talk about it with the coaches and stuff. But, at the end of the day, when you’re out there in the middle and the pressure is on, in a Roses game or whatever it is, you’ve got to stand up and perform and we’re not doing that in those pressure moments.
“We’re making poor decisions and it’s not good enough for the standards the club expects, the supporters expect, and I expect as captain. It’s not good enough, and we’ve got to find a way either to be better or find different personnel to come in and do the job instead. It’s as simple as that.”
Yorkshire’s problems were highlighted when they crashed to 40-7 on the opening day of the Roses game before a late-order rally.
The top-six batsmen scored 19 runs between them.
“We fell very, very far short of even respectability in that first innings against Lancashire,” added Patterson.
“We can show as much character as we want, but sometimes it won’t be enough. We’re not magicians, and you can’t pull a rabbit out of the hat every week.
“We can’t keep expecting the bowlers to pull us out of trouble; it just doesn’t happen. They’re only human, and we were playing against a good side in Lancashire.
“You cannot be, on a good surface, 40-7 and expect to dominate the game. It just doesn’t happen in first-class cricket.”
Patterson pointed to the way that the Lancashire pair of Keaton Jennings and Luke Wells played in the hosts’ first innings as the template to follow.
The second-wicket pair put on 175 in 66 overs – more than Yorkshire’s first innings score – in a fine exhibition of patience and control.
“We’ve got to learn lessons from the way that Jennings and Wells played,” said Patterson. “And, as I say, if we seriously want to contend to be at the top of the league and potentially to win the Championship, we’ve got to be able to withstand good bowling on a good surface.
“It wasn’t seaming around out there – there was true bounce and pace, and we just didn’t play very well.
“Yes, you’ve got to factor in that we were light on experience, and I thought Dukey (Harry Duke) played beautifully in only his second match (the teenager top-scored with 52 in the first innings), but to have lost Rooty (Joe Root) from the last game, and with (Dawid) Malan not available just yet, and to lose Gary (Ballance) on the morning of the game (due to injury) was a hammer blow really, so we knew we were light going in.
“But I still believe we were much better than we showed
“It was just an horrendous start, and we need to improve.”
Lancashire’s win – by an innings and 79 runs – was their first Roses Championship victory at Old Trafford in 21 years.
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